Note — Sep 02, 2018

Bitcoin Shows the Scale of Change Needed to Stop the Climate Crisis

Dont skip over this one because of bitcoin, although it does start with exposing the energy and environmental crazyness of the process of coin creation, it then uses it as an example of the systemic ways in which “digital technology” is causing problems and how we need to consider the impacts within the current climate crisis.

In an era of accelerating climate crisis, driven primarily by carbon emissions, it is a technological innovation of violence towards current and future generations. […]

Computation, whether used for cryptocurrency mining or performing the calculations that make our smartphones tick over, is not a magic, weightless act. It is a thermodynamic process. […]

[W]e should examine what hierarchies of power technologies sustain or amplify and recognise how they and they wider technical systems they constitute intimately pattern and structure our lives. […]

If technologies are systems embedded in wider social, economic and natural systems, we can and should seek to more actively shape their development and use through politics.